Conference: Collective Worship and Religious Observance in Schools – An Evaluation of Law and Policy in the UK

Collective Worship and Religious Observance in Schools:

An Evaluation of Law and Policy in the UK


University of Leicester, 13 November 2015

This conference is on collective worship and religious observance in UK schools. The aim of the conference is to present the conclusions and recommendations of a two-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research network project, which has examined the law and policy governing collective worship (England, Northern Ireland, Wales) and religious observance (Scotland) in schools. In examining the issue of collective worship/religious observance, the project has brought together ten scholars from across the UK, with expertise in a number of relevant disciplines (eg., education, philosophy, law, spirituality). More details of the research project can be found at:

The Network, managed by Dr Alison Mawhinney (Bangor University) and Professor Peter Cumper (University of Leicester) has produced a report on collective worship and religious observance, which will made public and circulated at the conference.

In addition to the presentation of the Network’s findings, the conference – which will be chaired by Lord Sutherland of Houndwood – will feature presentations from a number of influential figures from the UK and overseas. Confirmed speakers in this regard include: the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Professor Heiner Bielefeldt; the sociologist of religion, Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University); the Professor of Theology and Education, Mary Elizabeth Moore (Boston University); and the Professor of Education, Geir Skeie (Stockholm University).

The conference will be held in Leicester, at the University of Leicester’s main conference centre, College Court, 10:00-16:00 ( It is free but, owing to limited places, admittance can only be granted to those who have registered for it beforehand. For registration please contact Ms Teresa Rowe, the Event’s Co-ordinator, at